Have you received an anti-vaccination pamphlet in the mail lately?
Have you received an anti-vaccination pamphlet in the mail lately? Warren Lynam

Anti-vax pamphlets flooding mailboxes

A PAMPHLET circulating in the region reads: "Vaccination Killed My Baby".

But that's not all - other headlines include: "Is the HPV vaccine causing infertility?", "Is the flu vaccine killing our elderly" and "Vaccines and Autism".

Goonellabah resident Betty Campbell said she was "alarmed" to find an anti-vaccination pamphlet in her letterbox.

She said she didn't agree with the content of the pamphlet, and as an elderly woman she has had the flu vaccine and "has never had the flu".

The mail could be damaging to susceptible people, Ms Campbell feared.

The source of the pamphlet is unknown, but there are several websites and additional sources suggested.

The North Coast Public Health Unit would not comment on the pamphlet but said there was "overwhelming scientific evidence that vaccination is safe and effective in preventing disease" and said they continued to work towards increasing immunisation rates on the Northern Rivers.

Northern NSW Local Health District's director of the Public Health Unit, Paul Corben, said they were working with North Coast Primary Health Network to optimise uptake of vaccination through general practice and Aboriginal medical services.

Parts of the Northern Rivers are notoriously amongst the lowest when it comes to children's immunisation rates, but that's slowly changing.

"We are encouraged by the latest Australian Immunisation Register quarterly report which shows that vaccination rates among children in the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) are on the increase," Mr Corben said.

In the 12 months from October 2016 to September 2017, 89.2 per cent of children aged 12 months were fully vaccinated.

This is compared to 87.9 per cent in the previous 12-month period.

For children aged 5 years, 90 per cent were fully vaccinated in the same period, compared to 88.5 per cent in the 12 months prior.

Mr Corben said the figures reflected steady-to-slightly increasing vaccination coverage across the district over the past 12 months.

"NNSWLHD also has research projects under-way in collaboration with experts at the University of Sydney and the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, to improve our understanding of parents who are wary about vaccination, and how best to communicate with them," he said.



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